Monday, September 17, 2007

Christopher M. McCloud dies 'of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations'

As much as Christopher McCloud enjoyed his work in the U. S. Army, family was the most important thing in his life, according to his wife Sheena McCloud. His free time was spent either with his wife and kids Aidan, 3 and Landyn, 2, or his brother and cousins.

“He was a true family man,” Sheena said. “While he was home, he was always wrestling with the kids or having a barbecue with his cousins while they practiced their shooting out back. He loved being with his family more than anything.”

McCloud’s mother, Sandra said growing up he was a boy who had more energy than any other child his age, but he always wanted to spend time with his brother.

“Michael and Jason were just the best of friends,” Sandra said. “They wanted to do everything together. They both loved riding dirt bikes and that is what they spent most of their time doing.”

McCloud went to Cross Roads elementary and middle school, but Sandra decided to home school him through his high school years.

“He was always a very bright boy,” Sandra said. “He didn’t need a lot of help with his school work. He was very good in math and did his work very quickly.”

McCloud graduated in 2001, but has already been working since he was 16 at Red Dot Steel Buildings Co. According to his father, Michael, there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do.

“He was a very fast learner on the job and worked hard every day,” Michael said. He learned just about everything there was to know about putting up steel buildings.”

Almost a year ago, Christopher told his family he wanted to join the army to serve his country.

“That is just the way he was,” Sheena said. He wanted to set an example for his kids and wanted a better life for his family. He knew this would do that for us.”

McCloud knew what the Army had to offer in the way of benefits and training for a career would allow him a better opportunity in life,” Sandra said.

Sandra said when he joined, they knew there would be a chance he would have to serve time in Iraq and were prepared to be away from each other.

“We always talked two to three times a week,” Sheena said. “He always wanted to know how the kids were and what was going on in the “real world.”

Sheena said when talking with him on Thursday, she could tell from his voice, he knew the mission he was going on that next day could be dangerous.

“Over the past several weeks, he had seen other soldiers blown up,” she said. “Just the day before the unit in front of them ran over a bomb and several soldiers died.”

“We are all so very proud of him,” Sandra said. “We are proud of the way he lived and the way he died – serving his country.”

From the Athens Review